Online Safety

Social media guide for teachers and support staff

Childnet has produced a short information booklet aimed at teachers and support staff in schools. It outlines how best to use social media services in both a professional and a personal capacity. The document covers areas such as privacy settings, professional reputation and how to respond to friend requests from members of the school community. It also outlines a number of common scenarios with guidance on how to deal with them. You can find the guide here:

BBC plans to help tackle fake news

The BBC is to launch a new programme supporting young people to identify real news and filter out fake or false information. The project, announced on 6 December at the Children’s Global Media Summit in Manchester, is targeted at secondary schools and sixth forms across the UK. From March up to 1,000 schools will be offered mentoring – in class, online, or at events – from the likes of BBC journalists such as Huw Edwards, Tina Daheley, Nikki Fox, Kamal Ahmed and Amol Rajan. All schools will have access to free online materials classroom activities, video tutorials, and an interactive game developed by the world-famous Aardman studio, where the player experiences being a BBC journalist in the heart of the newsroom. You can find out more information about the initiative here: htt...

How to help children use the internet safely

The NSPCC has published a useful blog post on the Guardian website giving pointers to professionals helping children explore the internet safely. As we know, the internet offers many opportunities to play, learn and connect but with the digital world changing all the time, we all have a role to play in keeping children safe online. Teachers, social workers and other professionals can all help children understand the internet, recognise risks, and stay safe. The first step is often a conversation, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Following their tips can help adults support and advise children about safely navigating the internet and all it has to offer. You can access the post here:

Social media – simplified terms and conditions for children

The Children’s Commisioner, in conjunction with the TES, has produced a set of simplified terms and conditions which make it easier for children to see what they are agreeing to when they sign up for a social network. The document covers 5 of the main services: Instagram, Snapchat, What’s App, YouTube and Facebook. You can download it here

Children’s online activities, risks and safety – report

A comprehensive literature review has been published by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety. The review focused on trends and emerging issues, and the online risk of harm to children and implications for safety policy and practice. The key findings included: Age is the key factor that differentiates among children’s online experiences, with gender also significant. One in ten children to one in five young teens say they encountered something worrying or nasty online in the past year. Children’s top worries are pornography and violence; they say they encounter these most often on video-sharing sites, followed by other websites, then social networking sites and games. Children are also concerned about the levels of advertising online, their spending too much time online, inappropriate c...

Young people’s experiences of sexting

A report has been released by the EU funded SPIRTO Project which shares key findings, including the outcome of interviews they conducted with young people about sexting (generating and sharing sexual content). The study was carried out in Sweden, Germany and the UK and revealed the following: The main reasons stated for producing and sending images were fun, flirting and meeting new people; exploring sexuality seeking affirmation social acceptance part of a romantic or sexual relationship and being asked or coerced. Youths commonly described a combination of factors, with images created in a range of contexts. Experiences ranged from online grooming, where children were pressured to produce images, to the creation and sending of images within a caring relationship. Most participants carefu...

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